I have a 3rd grader again!
I have to admit. I really enjoy teaching the upper elementary age levels starting around 3rd grade.
Because at this age my children start to work just a little bit more independently.
They are starting to read instructions and then follow them (ok, so they don’t always follow them, but I can hope). My kids are able to do a few assignments without me sitting right next to them. In 3rd grade I slowly start working with my children to be able to do some school work independently. And by independently, I mean that my kids are able to do a few math problems if I walk out of the room. I can trust them to at least do a couple things without me right next to them. This year is the first very tiny step toward independent work. It’s such a relief for me!
Plus, I find the content of 3rd grade and above to be a little more interesting and exciting.
I think I have my 3rd grade year planned and ready to go. Here’s my tentative plan!
We have a daily group school time and we begin with a Bible reading through Bible Study Guide for All Ages. It’s a wonderful time to go through the same Bible passages together.
My oldest (6th grade) has been working through this series and we have really enjoyed what we’ve learned. As each child hits 3rd grade I add him or her in to our little Bible study time. This is the first year that my 3rd grader will be joining us in our Bible study, but I think she’ll enjoy what she learns about the Scripture and about the culture during Bible times.
Last school year, my daughter finished Right Start C with a great understanding of math, so I’m excited to jump into the next level and take her forward into the concepts of division and some simple fractions. She is my 3rd child to use Right Start Math and even though she is a very different learner than my older two children, this program is working very well for her as well.
For our other math program, we still use Math Mammoth as a way to reinforce the concepts that we learn in Right Start Math. She has started to do her math pages independently, so I use this as individual work that she does on her own.
I have enjoyed the simplicity of this program. It only takes about 15-20 minutes per day and requires no planning for me. My daughter has done well with the two previous levels so we’ll continue with this program for 3rd grade.
I’m so excited that we are on the last level of this reading program. My daughter’s reading has just taken off this past year in Level 3. She is reading very fluently and can read chapter books with ease.
Now that my daughter is reading well, we’re going to shift our focus more to spelling. We completed Level 1 of this program last year and now she’s ready to move on. Over the years I’ve found that it’s best to focus on reading and help my children become fluent readers before we focus too much on spelling.
We’ll be continuing with this program for the new school year. My daughter really struggled with narration at the beginning of last year and was unable to remember any details of the story. After a full year of Writing with Ease she made so much progress. She can now give me excellent narrations and answer questions in complete sentences. I love how narration builds her listening skills.
This is something new that I’m going to try this school year. I haven’t done any formal literature studies in the past but this program looked too good to pass up. So my 3rd grader will do this program with her 4th grade brother. We’ll read the books together and do the assignments. The program also contains some grammar and composition assignments and I think we’ll do all of those just as a way to provide more review in those areas.
I start our individual school time with a gentle subject – poetry. Each day we read a few poems together. Sometimes we have a short discussion, and other times we simply enjoy the funny or beautifully written poems. My kids all look forward to our daily poetry readings.
My daughter loves practicing her handwriting. I think she’s a little bit weird! She works through these Pentime books at lightning speed and I will admit that she has the best handwriting of all of my kids. So, I’ll had her this book and let her work through it this school year. She might be done by October though!
My kids’ other favorite subject is logic. They love doing logic workbooks with me. After we do our poetry reading, we usually dive into a few logic puzzles to get our brains warmed up for school time.
My daughter completed Song School Spanish last school year and learned quite a few vocabulary words. We’re going to do more in depth with Spanish this school year. I’ll work through this book with her and she’ll learn more vocabulary as well as some basic Spanish grammar concepts. I love this book as a simple introduction to Spanish and I also love that it has sentences for translation in nearly every lesson. It provides great review!
This is another new program that we’re going to try this school year. I decided to change course with our history studies and focus on American history. My daughter is excited about this beautiful history book and the notebook pages and narrations that go with it. I’m going to combine my 1st grader, 3rd grader, and 4th grader in this book. I’m sure my 6th grader will want to listen in for fun as well. And I bet the preschooler will want to sit in my lap to see the pictures.
Since we’re focusing on American history, we’ll learn to draw all the states and learn the state names and capitals. I’m hoping to also find some books and videos for each state to enhance our studies.
My science plans are still not set in stone, but I think we’re going to start our first semester with a study of biology (with some nature study thrown in). We’ll read through this book as a group and hopefully do a few experiments or observations. For the second semester we might continue with another book in the series or find something completely different. Can you tell that science is not my favorite and it’s my most difficult subject to figure out??
I always hope to make time for art and some years I do better than others. I’m hoping we can do a few of the lessons out of this book throughout the year. If not, it may get pushed into next summer.
I give all of my children piano lessons, and for my 3rd grader, it’s one of her favorite things. She seems to be fairly musical and looks forward to practicing her piano songs. We’ll continue with her lessons and her daily practice times.
Here’s to another year of 3rd grade and to a child who is becoming a slightly more independent learner. I can’t wait to see how her reading and spelling skills take off this year. I’m also looking forward to some fun history and science topics.